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The symptoms of a sprain are almost exactly the same as that of a broken bone.  When in doubt, sprains should be treated the same as broken bones.  The most common symptoms are:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • bruising
  • inability to move
  • inability to bear weight on the joint

It is not necessary to have all of the symptoms of a sprain in order for the joint to be injured.

   it has severe pain

  victim unable to put any weight on it

  it looks different than uninjured joint (swelling doesn't count)

  victim can't move it

  victim can't walk more than four steps on it

  there is numbness in any part of it

  redness or red streaks spread out from the injury. 

  it has been sprained several times before

  there is pain, swelling, or redness over a bony part of your foot.

 Use the RICE method to treat the sprain. 

  • Rest the sprained joint by not placing weight on it.  Use a cane or crutch on the uninjured side to lean away from the injury. 
  • Ice the sprain with an ice pack. 
  • Compress the sprain with an elastic bandage.  Ask a healthcare provider to show you how to properly apply an elastic bandage. 
  • Elevate the sprain above the level of the heart as often as possible during the first 48 hours. 


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